5x Saving on water

Water is not expensive in the Netherlands. But, if you want to contribute to sustainability and ultimately to a better world, saving on water is not a bad idea.

Just becoming aware of your water usage will help you a lot with saving on water. Unconsciously, a lot of water disappears down the drain. Besides of course taking a shorter shower, there are a lot of other things you can do to save on water.

#1 Cooking

Saving water while cooking? Yep, that’s easy!

Are you waiting for hot water? Don’t let the water run right into the sink. Think ahead! You can already fill a pan with water, fill your kettle already, or collect the water for watering your plants.

You can cook your vegetables under a layer of water, you do not need to submerge all your vegetables underwater. Leave the lid on the pan, and your vegetables will be fine. The water will then also boil on lower heat. Did you know that you only need an inch of water to cook rice? Leave the lid on the pan, and just wait until your rice is ready! Even better: steam your veggies. Especially with a ceramic plate, it can take a while until your water boils. Steaming your vegetables above a layer of water will go faster, and it will also preserve the flavor, vitamins, and minerals of your vegetables. So, only advantages!

Done with cooking? Fill up your dishwasher sufficiently and run it on the eco-program. No full dishwasher? Then do the dishes by hand. That saves about 8 liters of water!

#2 Washing

Luckily, nowadays all washing machines and dishwashers are energy-friendly. However, you can be extra careful while washing. A washing machine uses about 60 liters of water per wash. Does your washing machine have an eco function? Use it! The eco-program takes a little longer than other programs, but you wash more economically and just as clean.

Also, make sure you fill your washing machine sufficiently. Save up your dirty clothes and run one full wash instead of two small ones.

launderette at The Lee Towers in Rotterdam
Saving up your dirty clothes and run a few large washes in the launderette is easier and more affordable than running several small washes.

#3 Showering

A tip that you’ve probably heard many times before: reduce your time in the shower. According to Milieucentraal, a household that showers for an average of 5 minutes instead of 9 minutes can save over 15,000 liters of hot water per year. Let’s not even talk about taking a bath.

Also, although you might think that your shower needs 5 minutes to warm up, it will be hot in actually less than a minute. Don’t turn on the shower if you are doing other things in the meantime. Or start with a cold shower for a minute, then you are immediately awake. You can also turn off the shower when washing your hair. Makes a difference!

#4 Reduce your food waste

Although you would think that showering less would really contribute to sustainability, eating less meat is indirectly many times more effective. Did you know that everything you eat is made with the help of water? Don't be shocked, but 15,000 gallons of water are used for 1 pound of beef. So if you want to save water, it is wise to eat less meat.

You can at least start by throwing away less food. Dutch people throw away more than 34 kilos of food every year, while you can still cook perfectly well with leftovers. Or buy fruits and vegetables that lost longer!

child washes broccoli in the kitchen sink
There are several actions that can be adapted in the kitchen to save water. For example, wash your vegetables into a bowl of water instead of under the running tap.

#5 Measuring equals knowing

After all, measuring equals knowing. You can check your average water usage by looking at the annual settlement from your water provider. On average, a one-person household in the Netherlands uses 46,100 liters of water per year. That is more than 120 liters per day. Count that out in terms of bottles in front of you.

Most water you consume unconsciously. While you leave your water running for only two minutes while brushing your teeth, 40 liters of water rushes down the drain.

Is your shower, faucet, or tub dripping? Get it fixed! A leaking faucet increases your water consumption unnecessarily. Are you a tenant of Holland2Stay? Please create a repair request in your online account. We will fix it as soon as possible.

Inge

written by Inge

My love for exploring new cities has grown since I live near Eindhoven’s city center. Hopefully, I can share some valuable content with you to help you feel at home in your city as well!